Histopathological analysis and in vivo optical spectroscopy were used to discriminate several histological stages of UV-irradiated mouse skin. At different times throughout the irradiation, autofluorescence (AF) and diffuse reflectance (DR) spectra were acquired in a bimodal approach. Then skin was sampled and processed to be classified, according to morphological criteria, into four histological categories: normal, and three types of hyperplasia (compensatory, atypical, and dysplastic). After extracting spectral characteristics, principal component analysis (data reduction) and the -nearest neighbor classifying method were applied to compare diagnostic performances of monoexcitation AF (based on each of the seven excitation wavelengths: 360, 368, 390, 400, 410, 420, and ), multiexcitation AF (combining the seven excitation wavelengths), DR, and bimodal spectroscopies. Visible wavelengths are the most sensitive ones to discriminate compensatory from precancerous (atypical and dysplastic) states. Multiexcitation AF provides an average 6-percentage-point increased sensitivity compared to the best scores obtained with monoexcitation AF for all pairs of tissue categories. Bimodality results in a 4-percentage-point increase of specificity when discriminating the three types of hyperplasia. Thus, bimodal spectroscopy appears to be a promising tool to discriminate benign from precancerous stages; clinical investigations should be carried out to confirm these results.